Affirming and inclusive services for LGBTQ seniors
THE RAINBOW SUPPER CLUB IS MEETING VIRTUALLY DUE TO COVID-19.
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Due to COVID-19, we have suspended our monthly in-person dinners and shifted to weekly virtual gatherings. These meet on Wednesdays from 5-6pm. Interested individuals can participate from a phone or computer/iPad/tablet. For more information or to RSVP, visit our Meetup event page at: https://www.meetup.com/Rainbow-Supper-Club-of-Holyoke/
We appreciate your understanding.
WestMass ElderCare’s LGBTQ support offers the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQ) community and our allies opportunities to meet one another and grow in our identities. Here are some of our offerings in addition to our general services and programs:
Rainbow Supper Club
Our monthly dinner program in partnership with the Holyoke Council on Aging. Featuring a delicious dinner, every month’s program is different – from drag bingo to comedy to dancing!
These dinners are a part of WestMass ElderCare’s Nutrition Program / Congregate Meal Sites. These meal sites offer opportunities for social interaction and companionship, as well as a nutrition education and volunteer opportunities.
There is a confidential, voluntary donation for individuals 60+, and a fee for individuals under 60.
Due to COVID-19, in-person dinners are suspended. Virtual meetings are happening weekly. Click here to learn more.
Social connection is a cornerstone of our community. Working closely with local organizations and community groups, we participate in a variety of events throughout the year.
Some of the things we’ve done include: film screenings, educational panels, dances, marching at local Pride celebrations, intergenerational discussions, and more!
WestMass ElderCare works alongside other affirming LGBTQ community resources to ensure civil rights for LGBTQ older adults.
We provide referrals to legal services and provide support for individuals seeking justice based on discrimination and/or harassment due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or expression.
Know you are not alone. We’re here to help!
Why are LGBTQ support programs important?
Offering programs that address the needs and interests of LGBTQ older people is one concrete step we can take to create welcoming, safe and LGBTQ-affirming spaces, where all LGBTQ older adults can be their authentic selves, just like their peers.
In multiple studies, it has been found that LGBTQ older people widely fear accessing services, with transgender elders especially concerned because of high rates of being denied services or receiving inferior services.
In addition, the added stress of dealing with decades of discrimination means that LGBTQ older people are at a greater risk of physical and mental illnesses, and other issues, such as depression, disability, chronic illnesses, poverty, social isolation, poor nutrition and premature mortality.*
By having programs that explicitly recognize and celebrate LGBTQ individuals, as well as understand and meet their needs, we can ensure that we are providing equitable care for all.
* From SAGE | LGBT Aging Project
The LGBT Aging Project
A program of Fenway Health ensuring LGBT seniors have equal access to life-prolonging services, programs, and protections. https://fenwayhealth.org/the-fenway-institute/lgbt-aging-project/
SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders)
National LGBTQ elder services and advocacy organization.
Has hotline, mentorship program, and much more.
National Resource Center for LGBTQ Aging
A technical assistance resource center providing support to the LGBTQ elder community.
LifePath | Rainbow Elders
Sibling program in Franklin County for LGBTQIA+ elders.
Part of LifePath senior services organizations.